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New Prop 65 Warning Requirements: Are Hotels Prepared For Changes?

New Prop 65 Warning Requirements: Are Hotels Prepared for Changes?

The new regulations that go into effect on August 30, 2018 under California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) will impose significant changes in a variety of industries. Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide “clear and reasonable” warnings prior to exposing individuals to chemicals on the Proposition 65 list. The new warning regulations, representing the first significant set of regulatory revisions in 30 years, contain new warnings for hotels that are designed to be clearer and more informative. As with all businesses affected by the amended regulations, hotels and other lodging establishments should become familiar with the new regulations ahead of the effective date to ensure a smooth compliance process.

Revised Definition

The new Prop 65 regulations define hotels as “any type of transient lodging establishment, including but not limited to, hotels, motels, bed and breakfast inns, resorts, spas, ski resorts, guest ranches, agricultural ‘homestays,’ tourist homes, condominiums, timeshares, vacation home rentals, and extended stay establishments in which members of the public can obtain transient lodging accommodations.” The definition is geared to exposure warnings for lodging stays that are shorter than 30 days.

Methods for Providing Safe Harbor Warnings

Previous warning methods for listed chemicals under Prop 65 consisted of posting signs at the point of entry alerting guests that there are chemicals present that can cause cancer and reproductive toxicity. As of August 30, 2018, these methods will not comply with new safe harbor warnings.

New safe harbor warning regulations provide that a hotel may give notice of exposure to a listed chemical by: (i) providing a warning at the registration desk of the lodging establishment that is printed in minimum 22-point font and situated in an area where the guest is likely to see and read the warning; or (ii) providing an electronic or written, hard-copy warning before or during the guest’s registration in instances where reservation and registration occur online. The electronic or written warning must be available in the same type size as other hotel communications to ensure that the guest sees and understands the notice. Furthermore, warnings must be provided in both English and a second language if other hotel communications during registration are also provided to guests in a secondary language.

Content of Safe Harbor Warnings

Safe harbor warnings for hotels must contain: (i) the warning symbol for consumer product exposures (a black exclamation point in a yellow equilateral triangle with a bold black outline), (ii) the word “WARNING” in capital letters and bold print, and (iii) a specific message that must include one or more sources of exposure and identify one or more listed chemicals, depending on whether the hotel is warning for one or more carcinogens, one or more reproductive toxicants, or both. Specific warning content is found at Section 25607.33 subsections (a)(3)-(a)(8).

Grimaldi Law Offices has been advising clients for over 20 years on chemical and product law. For expert advice and analysis on your Prop 65 compliance obligations, contact Grimaldi Law Offices at (415) 463-5186 or email us at info@grimaldilawoffices.com.

This is attorney advertising. Please see disclaimer.

Ann Grimaldi

Ms. Grimaldi maintains a diverse environmental law practice focusing on chemical and product regulation and litigation defense. Her practice areas include Proposition 65, California's Safer Consumer Products Regulations, California's Rigid Plastic Packaging Container Act and the federal Toxic Substances Control Act. Ms. Grimaldi graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law magna cum laude and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Bacteriology from University of California, Davis. Prior to attending law school, she worked as a research assistant in laboratories at the University of California, San Francisco Cancer Research Institute and at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.

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